Constitutionality of Legislation Authorizing Permanent Resident Status for Certain Nonimmigrant Aliens


Legislation which would grant permanent residence status to certain nonimmigrant alien workers residing in the Virgin Islands, and at the same time restrict these individuals’ ability to obtain the entry of relatives under otherwise applicable provisions of the Immigrant and Nationality Act, does not violate the Equal Protection Clause.

The application of the equal protection principle to aliens is subject to the special powers of Congress over immigration and naturalization, and even the constitutional rights of citizens must yield where they clash with the paramount power of Congress over the admission and exclusion of aliens.

Updated July 9, 2014